Having a blog that no one reads kinda sucks. You pour your heart into writing but nobody ever comes to your site. It’s quite a sad state of affairs, really.
How are you ever going to help anyone or get your name in print?
You’re probably not.
Not if you keep on making some of these common writing mistakes fitness pros are all too guilty of (myself included).
1) Don’t Have a Generalist, Master of None Blog
No one trusts or wants to hear from a jack-of-all-trades. Be an expert in something. People like and trust experts. I know about helping skinny dudes build high performance muscle. I’m not a rehab expert nor do I know how to train people for marathons. So I don’t talk about that kind of stuff.
When you’re starting out it’s important to focus on one niche. When you grow your audience you can branch out and talk about other topics. But that comes later on down the line.
No one cares about your thoughts or theories on other topics until you’re known for being good at one thing.
If Lil Wayne didn’t get recognized for his rap skills first would anyone have ever purchased his rock album? Of course not. Become an expert first then you can start talking about other stuff later on when people care.
2) Don’t Be Obsessed with SEO
For those who don’t know SEO= search engine optimization. Ideally you’d like your site to come up top five in Google for whatever topics you write about. So you go and name all of your posts relevant search terms and repeat them throughout the article.
Thing is, that approach is dead; for most people anyway. If I do that it’ll actually work (though probably not beyond the next couple of years). But that’s because I have a very high-ranking site with a lot of traffic. Google gives precedence to sites that have established a reputation and have a high readership.
The only way to get to the top of their rankings these days is by producing high quality content that gets liked and shared.
And, honestly, SEO traffic is always a bit on the shitbreeder side anyway. Those dudes rarely become long time readers.
3) Don’t Say You’re “World Renowned & Highly Sought After”
Since people from all around the world read my stuff I’ve done this in the past. I thought, “Well technically…”
Now it’s all over the place. Every 22-year-old trainer from some small town in Idaho is “world renowned and highly sought after.” Unless the paparazzi are waiting for you at every airport you fly into and you can’t get through an hour of the day without signing an autograph, it might be just a bit of a stretch.
4) Don’t Forget to Keep People Entertained
Or at the very least don’t be boring. A 2008 study showed that only 28% of the text on any web page is ever read. So you’ve gotta elicit some kind of emotional response from people when you write if you want them to consume your information.
This is the Age of Distraction and it’s very hard for people to stay focused. But here’s another way to look at it through the eyes of the great Jerry Seinfeld:
“There is no such thing as an attention span. There is only the quality of what you are viewing. This whole idea of an attention span is, I think, a misnomer. People have an infinite attention span if you are entertaining them.”
5) Don’t Talk Shit Because You Disagree With Someone
When you and your audience are young this will be very tempting. Let’s say you believe strongly in low volume training and think high volume will kill people. Because of this you view the proponents of high volume training to be the devil and you want to call them out in your blogs or videos.
Don’t do it. You’ll only come across as insecure, jealous and angry.
As soon as most people read one of those bitter posts they have a different view of you and may never return to your site again. No one wants to be around negative, venom spewing people.
And, besides, why would you possibly give a shit if someone disagrees with your training training philosophies?
A dozen or so of the most well known guys in the fitness industry are close personal friends of mine. We don’t all agree on training just like we don’t all have the same favorite restaurant, band or football team.
It doesn’t matter what other people think or promote. Worry about your own message.
Finally, consider the fact that the guys you are talking shit about might be those who write for a publication you hope to get in one day. As Lou Shuler points out in How to Get Published, this does not bode well for your future with that publication.
That’s not to say you can’t write a fired up rant every once in a while, as many people enjoy those. Just don’t attack someone because they love chin-ups and you hate them.
6) Don’t Feel the Need to Completely Finish Every Post
No matter what subject you write about there will be dozens, if not hundreds of possible questions related to it. You can’t try to answer them all in every article. Doing so weakens your entire post, makes it too wordy and cuts down on the number of comments you’ll get by about 75%.
Let me show you what I mean:
Possibly Incomplete, But Strong Message- “If you want to get bigger and stronger you should deadlift with the trap bar once per week.”
More Complete, But Weaker Message- “If you want to get bigger and stronger you should deadlift with the trap bar once per week. That is, of course, if you have no preexisting back injuries and access to a trap bar. If you have back injuries you’d be better off sticking with kettlebell deadlifts. Those who train in a gym without a trap bar will have to use the straight bar as will those who plan to compete in powerlifting. And if you are new to training you might be able to get away with doing trap bar deads three times per week.”
In the first example you tell the reader what you believe. In the second example you give every scenario for not doing what you already told them to do. Either make that a separate post called, “What to do if You Don’t Have a Trap Bar,” or “How to Train Your Back Without Deadlifts,” or let the reader ask those questions in the comment section.
7) Don’t Be Afraid of Success or Worry About Critics
In movies, TV shows and professional wrestling story lines the successful people who make lots of money are usually portrayed as the bad guys. Hating those who make it to the mountaintop is as American as reality porn. Don’t let this deter you from starting the climb without ever looking back.
More exposure and success will bring out more haters. Ignore these people and move on without thinking about it for even a split second, just like Arnold or Magic would.
I recommend my system of having someone screen all of your emails, Youtube and blog comments so you’re never even tempted to respond to these people. It’s a colossal waste of time and energy.
If you’re gonna succeed at anything in life you have ZERO time to dwell on stuff like this or argue with people on the internet.
But expect the haters to always be there lurking in the shadows of their moms basement. Because if you’re a knowledgeable and experienced fitness pro you can make a lot of money writing when you learn the techniques taught by Lou Shuler, Sean Hyson and John Romaniello teach in their outstanding course, How to Get Published.
I read all of the books and contributed an audio interview to the package where I discuss how I took this blog from two readers per day to a 19,000 US Alexa ranking.
If you’re a fitness pro you owe it to yourself to order your copy today while it’s on sale for fifty bucks off.
It’ll be one of the best investments you make in your career all year.
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